Workfare and Infant Health

Evidence From India's Public Works Program

Published in: Journal of Development Economics, Volume 138, pages 116-134 (May 2019). doi: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2018.12.004

Posted on RAND.org on January 29, 2019

by Amalavoyal V. Chari, Peter Glick, Edward N. Okeke, Sinduja Srinivasan

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This paper examines the relationship between maternal employment and infant health in the context of a large workfare program that explicitly prioritizes female participation, India's National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. Using multiple estimation strategies including a triple difference strategy that exploits a discontinuity in program eligibility at age 18, we find that the program had negative impacts on newborn infant survival, increasing newborn mortality among women who were eligible to participate in the program.

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